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Softball Cricket Comes Alive Under Lights

By S. Ali

Oct. 16th, 2009 | Gallery
On a night lighted by the stars and flood lights, the Shahara dancers, and the Angels Caribbean Band the New York softball cricket scene was buzzing with excitement when Demerara and Berbice clashed last Friday on a perfect October evening on the Astroturf at Roy Wilkins Park, Queens. It is just what the Cricket Doctors ordered, night cricket, as an added ingredient to boast its entertainment value like none has ever seen before in the New York area.

A successful event as shown in these photos. (Photos by Sham Ali)

The event is upstaged only by the razzmatazz, glitz and glamour of Twenty/20 cricket that is currently taking over the international scene by storm, and now the new York version is what the Softball Cricket Doctors in New York intended when they showcased two arched rivals Demerara and Berbice last Friday night in an exciting matchup that entertained the more than one thousand spectators in the stands.

The event which is the brainchild of an avid cricket enthusiast, Imran Khan, gave softball cricket a whole new perspective. In addition to competing in their softball leagues around the area on Sundays, there is now a Friday night event extravaganza that showcased some of the best players in the area.

The Roy Wilkins Park President Mr. Roger Scotland and supervisor Mr. Peter Richards were among the dignitaries present as the two teams were led onto the field by the Shahara Dancers who carried the United States (Stars and Stripes) and Guyana (Golden Arrow Head) amidst a thunderous ovation from the packed spectators in the stands.

As the flags flutter in the wind the opening ceremony got underway with some live entertainment from the Angels Caribbean Band. Before the toss was spun to mark a historic occasion, Mr. Scotland addressed the teams and spectators in which he expressed his satisfaction for the involvement from the Queens community at Roy Wilkins Park and praised Mr. Imran Khan as a man with a vision for the sport in staging the game in such impressive display.

The twenty overs match got underway after Berbice won the toss and elected to bat and the commentary team spearheaded by Onkar Singh kept the crowd informed ball by ball. The lost of a three early wickets left Berbice in some trouble and Demerara took control of the match, however, a rearguard effort from the Berbice lower order batsmen gave them a fighting 119 runs all out. The spectators were then flabbergasted by the tapping feet and glittering costumes of the Shahara dances as the half time show lighted the night sky.

Demerara in their reply had batted themselves into a good position at 69 for 4 in the 10th over, however, this match had swung to either side throughout the evening and there would be another twist when a few careless strokes from Demerara batsmen proved very costly. Demerara would then crumbled under the pressure as Berbice capitalized on their opportunity and fought themselves back into the match to secure a seven runs victory and ultimately lifting the inaugural trophy high into the star lighted night sky.

At the end of it all, euphoria filled the atmosphere. It was an extra special evening for softball cricket and a spectacular ending to their 2009 season spearheaded by the dedicated, persistent, and visionary Imran Khan. He expressed his heart felt appreciation to Vinod Bisram from Angels Caribbean Band, Ramesh from Star Party Rentals and to all the sponsors and supporters for making the event a success. Imram in his closing remarks stated that “I wanted to provide some entertainment for the cricket loving community who has shown their passion and enthusiasm for the sport over the years, and I am pleased that so many came out today to make this event a success.”

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